George Nicholson has been active in local and citywide politics for over 40 years. From 1974 to 1978 he worked at The North Southwark Community Planning Centre, which was run by The North Southwark Community Development Group.
From 1978 – 1982 he was a councillor representing Cathedral ward in Southwark, London, and from 1981-1986, he was the GLC member for Bermondsey and was Chairman of the GLC Planning Committee from 1983 – 1986.
Whilst Chair of the GLC Planning Committee, George was responsible for developing the “Community Areas Policy” based on ideas developed in Central London neighbourhoods in the 70s.
George Nicholson was a Trustee of the Borough Market for over 30 years. He was until April 2006 the Chairman of Trustees, a position he held for 5 years, and was before that, 5 years as the first chairman of the development committee. He was one of the key figures in the development of both the internationally acclaimed market refurbishment scheme and the creation of a new retail food market over the past 15 years. He has also been active in the UK market scene for over 30 years.
George Nicholson was founder and company secretary of; The National Retail Planning Forum. NRPF ( www.nrpf.org/), was created in 1996, and is a public/private sector partnership bringing together many of the largest names in the retail industry, as well as having strong representation from local government. He stood down from NRPF in 2011.
George Nicholson is currently a director of Coin Street Community Builders, the not for profit company that has since 1984 been developing 13 acres of London’s Southbank. The site, originally acquired by the GLC, includes the refurbishment of the famous OXO building, the development of several co-op housing schemes and a park.
During his time on the GLC other housing projects also came to fruition, such as the Park Street Estate in Southwark, and Davenant Street in Spitalfields.
George Nicholson is currently acting as a part-time consultant, specialising in retail markets. He has worked on a number of major market projects including the Titheburn Preston Market project (with Grosvenor and Lend Lease); Whitecross Street market, London for Islington Council; Huddersfield Market and Bradford Markets. He has worked with Alan Baxter Associates and East Architects on the Whitechapel High Street project that includes the remodelling and refurbishment of the Market. He has also worked with Roger Tym & Partners reviewing Bristol City Council markets. He has also acted as a consultant on markets for Westfield on Stratford City and White City; the Co-op in the redevelopment of their historic estate in Manchester; and for Geraud Markets in France and the UK.
George was chairman of the London Rivers Association (LRA) from 1997 to 2008 and was responsible for the development of a number of innovations in public policy for the Thames in London, including the “Blue Ribbon Network”, now part of the Mayor’s London Plan.
From 1997 - 2007 he was involved in the development of the Kolkata Waterfront in India, a project that has led to the development of the acclaimed Millennium Park. He has also been a Trustee of the Thames Festival.
Through his work on the waterfront in Kolkata, a link has subsequently been made with the Thames Festival, something that has in turn led to an ongoing project linking schools in London, Kolkata and Chongqing, Capetown and Cairo, through a project called “Rivers of the World”.
George Nicholson has staged 3 photographic exhibitions; Painting with Light in 2003, Made in Southwark in 2004 and Black & Light in 2006. He has published 3 books of black & white photographs; “Made in Southwark – a photographic celebration of the hand” in 2005; The Borough Market Cookbook: Meat and Fish in 2007 and Open for Business in 2008. Currently he is working on a book of photographs whose working title is Black light – from here to infinity.
George Nicholson trained and sailed as a ships engineer with Alfred Holt & Company based in Liverpool. He was born and still lives in Southwark, London.